Chinese-born Billi (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians) lives in New York City with her parents. When her beloved grandmother, matriarch Nai Nai, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, the family decide not to tell her. To spend time with Nai Nai the family return to China under the guise of a wedding. As Billi grapples with keeping the secret, and struggles to navigate family expectations, she gains a better understanding of Chinese culture and grows closer with her family.
The Farewell is a funny and life-affirming tale of family politics, east meets west and the heartache of goodbyes. Writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.